West Virginia Democrat Carte Goodwin was sworn in Tuesday to a temporary Senate term that will last just four months.
The 36-year-old lawyer will briefly fill the seat previously held by the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who served 51 years in the Senate until his death last month. Goodwin was tapped by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) to be the temporary successor until November, when a special election to fill the remaining two years in the term will be held. Manchin, who is at the halfway point in his second term as governor, announced Tuesday he will run in the special election, and he is considered the favorite to succeed Byrd.
Even as a temporary seat-warmer, Goodwin’s arrival this week is a welcome one for Senate Democrats eager to score a few more legislative victories before the August break. The majority hopes to clear an extension of unemployment insurance benefits and a small-business jobs package this week, although each will require some GOP support to reach the 60-vote threshold to defeat procedural challenges.